The recent outbreak of Americans openly wielding military-style weapons at lockdown protests across the country in order to intimidate lawmakers into reopening state economies prematurely has exposed the dangers of our nations's weak gun laws. Law enforcement officials, lawmakers and commentators from both sides of the political isle have condemned this outrageous behavior, noting that openly brandishing firearms is a dangerous intimidation tactic that should not be tolerated in a democratic society.
As states across the country lift COVID-19 lockdown orders and businesses gradually open their doors to costumers, 7-Eleven must act to keep its customers and employees safe from gun violence. We urge you to add language prohibiting open carry into your franchise agreements.
Over 40,000 Americans lose their lives to guns every single year, including 12,000 people who are murdered with firearms -- most of them young Black and Latino men. Women, who represent the primary shoppers of American households, are also disproportionately impacted by gun violence. Five hundred and fifty-four American women are shot and killed by their intimate partners every single year, on average—a death every sixteen hours.
Unfortunately, businesses are no stranger to incidents of gun violence at their establishments, experiencing 351 gun homicides -- an average or nearly one person killed everyday -- in 2017.
That is why we are urging you to change course and lead in helping build safer communities for us all. Put, simply we are asking you to re-open without guns. Fewer guns means safer stores.
Open carry complicates the work of law enforcement officers and endangers lives. Research has also consistently found the presence of a firearm makes people more aggressive, transforming mere disagreements into violent, and potential deadly, confrontations.
Since 72 percent of the public feels more favorably towards companies with CEOs that actively support gun safety policies, we are calling on you to act.